Re: Orlanthi on Guerrilla Warfare

From: David Weihe (
Date: Fri 30 Jan 1998 - 03:30:19 EET

> From: "Lee R. Insley" <>
> People don't generally wage war on others without the
> *permission* or knowledge of the clan leaders.
You are forgetting that most "resistance" activities are far below the
level of war. You don't need your clan chieftain's OK to pass on a rumor,
or tell a slanted version of the situation to your children (thus raising
the next generation of partisans), or inform (or not inform) the Lunars
when you see signs of the more organized resistance, or talk too much to
the known Free sympathizers, etc.

> People or groups just don't work independently of the clans and the
> clan leadership - at least not in my view of the Gloranthan clan societies.
Of course they do. Most activities are always personal or family-based.
*Organized* activity is difficult without the clan leaders, of course.

OTOH, the leadership is effective inversely to the degree that they lead,
as opposed to getting in front of the clan once it starts moving one way.
If your chieftain is a Lunie-symp and your clan is mostly rabid Frees, that
chieftain either acts like a Free, or he doesn't last long. Even if the
leader has Dominate Human, he can only control so many who decide to disobey.
Remember the Orlanthi axioms: Nobody can *make* you do anything. Violence
(in this case, if the chiefs disgree with you) is always an option. There is
always another way (to handle the chiefs, if violence is out).

> Another problem is that a clans attitude about the Lunars will vary from
> clan to clan. Some will be supportive, some hostile, and some neutral.
Same as any guerrilla war. Hell, at the start of the American revolution,
John Adams estimated that there was at best 1/3 for independence and 1/3
against. There were Soviet supporters in Afghanistan even after they had
pulled out. There are also always groups that are firmly in their own camp,
and work with whoever is fighting their enemies, switching sides nilly-willy
(the Shiites were notorious for this in Afghanistan, frex).

> Now, what do the Lunars do about keeping the clans in line.
 . . .
> the idea that the Lunars will keep *guests* (hostages) from the
> clans/tribes major ruling families in their *care*.
Obvious tactic, and frequently true. The problem with taking sons hostage
is, as many Medieval lords said, in similar circumstances, that the lords
(or other leadership) can always get more sons.

More subtle would be to give hostages a privileged upbringing (frex, free
and extensive Lunar education for the intellectually-inclined) then return
them (presumably as Lunar sympathizers) to their unruly clans, with enough
cash and kine to make them immediate leadership prospects (Orlanthi are as
vulnerable as anyone to bribery, after all, and the hostages have the other
qualifications, or they would never have been taken in the first place.).

A final note is, from various scenarios and free-forms discussed on the
digest, the Cold Wind Front (the guerrillas supposedly in the hills) seem
to be lead largely by Humakti and Lhankor Mhy types, who would have less
attachment to their clans, and not even much at the tribal level. The chal-
lenge for any Free Sartar movement is to undo the fractionating effects of
the Alakoring Kingship rites, and change their society back towards the older
Heortling model of clans the size of Sartari tribes, tribes the size of all
Sartar, and at least the beginning of nations.


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